By Aaronnette McFarlin
As parents we try to teach our kids right from wrong, good manners and instill character-building behavior to help them grow into responsible and successful adults. Unfortunately, a key factor to becoming a successful adult is knowing how to properly manage personal finances. The following are some key facts that you can use to help guide your children’s financial education and manage financial obstacles they may face in adulthood.
Practice what you preach!
Our kids often learn first from our actions. If you want your kids to be responsible with their money, then you have to set a good example of what it means to save, spend wisely and share with others. A great place to start is teaching children how to make the grocery list. Build your grocery lists by having your children help you select/cut out coupons, and how to use coupons to stay within budget. Take your kids to the bank with you and explain how to make deposits and how to make bank transactions. As children get older, you can explain how credit and debit cards work, how to balance a checkbook, and how online banking works
Never too young to start saving.
Young children love to have piggy banks. When a child is 8 or-9 years old it is a great time to open a small savings account at a bank or a credit union. This is a great way to help children learn about the banking system and savings accounts at the same time. Reward your child by matching their weekly or monthly deposits. This helps kids to learn the importance of saving and managing money and what it means to have a return on an investment.
Make them earn it.
Most of us get a special feeling when we work hard and earn something. Allow your child to experience this feeling early by giving them an allowance. Sit down together and decide how much certain chores are worth and create a payment schedule. This exercise helps prepare them for the world of work. Set a routine time each week to discuss plans on how they will manage their money between pay checks. This money management process helps children to learn from their mistakes early on without losing too much of their money in the process. Using money management strategies encourages children to decide in advance how much to save, how much to spend and how much to set aside to share with others.
For more help or information review the resources listed below.
The Emory WorkLife Library and financial webpage has articles, on demand webinars, calculators, and
educational guides that provide different tips and resources for helping children learn how to manage
The FDIC has a new financial education program for youth between the ages of 12 that help parents
explain the basics of good money-management. You can order a free CD of the FDIC's "Money Smart for
Money Confident Kids is a website of games and mobile apps for parents to engage the children in
important money conversations.
The Mint is a web resource that features financial games, tips, and articles for parents and kids of all